Contaminated land

The environmental quality team deals with the identification of contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the improvement of land quality through the planning process. We also handle enquiries and produce environmental searches.

Contaminated land enquiries

If you are purchasing a new property, intending to redevelop a site or you just want to know whether you live on or near potentially contaminated land, an environmental search may be recommended.

The aim of an environmental search report is to identify potentially contaminated land issues that may exist at a site or in close proximity to a site.

The report provides the following information:

  • A4 map extracts of all historical maps going back to 1869
  • full review of historical maps going back to the 1830s
  • full review of all planning applications relating to your property/site and in close proximity
  • review of council records relating to potentially contaminative uses of the property/site
  • review of any site investigaton and any remediation reports relating to your property/site and in close proximity (where available)
  • details of any authorised processes within proximity to the property/site
  • answers to any specific questions you may have in relation to the property/site.

How do I order a report?

Please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page with the following information:

  • Your name, company name (where applicable), telephone number, postal address and email address
  • Address of the property/site and if possible a site plan showing the boundary of the property/site
  • Any specific questions that you would like answered in relation to the property/site
  • Written confirmation that you are willing to pay our fees.

How much does it cost?

The charges are as follows and payment must me received before the search can be provided:

  • Residential property* - £50 plus VAT 
  • Commercial property* - £100 plus VAT

*A scaled increase is applied to these charges for large sites or adjacent properties. Please contact the environmental quality team for more specific rates. 

Cheques should be made payable to 'The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham' and sent to the address at the bottom of the page. Payment may also be taken over the phone by calling 0208 753 2568.

How long does it take?

We aim to produce reports within 10 working days and may be able to accommodate you if you need it sooner.

Once the report is ready we will email it to you as a PDF and post a hard copy to the address you provide.

Planning issues relating to contaminated land

When making a planning application to the council, section 15 (Existing Use) of the application form asks several questions relating to:

  • land which is known to be contaminated
  • land where contamination is suspected for all or part of the site
  • a proposed use that would be particularly vulnerable to the presence of contamination. 

In order to answer these questions satisfactorily contact should be made with us. 

National Planning Policy Framework

The NPPF sets out the Governments planning policies for England and how they are to be applied. Issues relevant to contaminated land are discussed throughout the document and specifically in paragraph 121 which states that planning policies and decisions should ensure that:

  • The site is suitable for its new use taking account of ground conditions and land instability, including from natural hazards or former activities such as mining, pollution arising from previous uses and any proposals for mitigation including land remediation or impacts on the natural environment arising from that remediation;
  • After remediation, as a minimum, land should not be capable of being determined as contaminated land under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and
  • Adequate site investigation information, prepared by a competent person.

Council's planning guidance

The council has produced a Supplementary Planning Document (pdf) which includes guidance on addressing contaminated land through the planning process (See page 90-117).

Environment Agency developer's guide

Developers should consult the Environment Agency: land contamination technical guidance for developing on contaminated land sites.

Environmental search reports

As part of carrying out environmental assessments for sites we are able to produce environmental search reports which give details on the history of the site and Council records relating to the site. These searches should form part of the Preliminary Risk Assessment required as per planning condition 1 below.

Environmental Quality
5th floor Hammersmith Town Hall Extension
King Street
London
W6 9JU

environmental.quality@lbhf.gov.uk
020 8753 1081

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